Return to Hinkle, HCAC race highlight hoop slate

Hanover College’s men’s basketball squad will open the 2012-13 season with three consecutive home dates. The stretch leads into a post-Thanksgiving battle with Butler University in Indianapolis.

Under fifth-year head coach Jon Miller, the Panthers will tip off the campaign Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 17-18, with home dates against Oberlin College (Ohio) and Denison University (Ohio).

Hanover will battle Centre College (Ky.), Sunday, Nov. 25, in the 20th-annual Collier Classic.

The Panthers will square off against Butler, Tuesday, Nov. 27, in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. The contest marks the second meeting between the programs in the past three seasons.

Hanover launches Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action with back-to-back home games and will play four consecutive league games in early-mid-December.

The Panthers’ quest for the HCAC title begins Saturday, Dec. 1, against Manchester University. The team follows with a clash with rival Franklin College, Wednesday, Dec. 5, in Collier Arena.

Hanover steps out of the league to face intra-state rival Wabash College, Monday, Dec. 17, in Crawfordsville, Ind.

The Panthers close the calendar year Friday-Saturday, Dec. 28-29, with two games in Wittenberg University’s Zimmerman Memorial Classic in Springfield, Ohio.

Hanover returns to the hardwood Wednesday, Jan. 2, on the road against the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). The contest is the first of 14 consecutive Heartland Conference games to cap the regular season.

The HCAC’s post-season tournament will be held Friday-Sunday, Feb. 22-24. The event leads into the NCAA III national tournament, which tips off Saturday, March 2.

Hanover returns nine players from last season’s squad, which posted a 16-9 overall record and placed second in the Heartland Conference standings with a 12-6 mark.